Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: October  15,  2018
Tell a friend about this page

Learn More About:

Add this page to your favorites.

Add this page to your favorites.
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2018 
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378
Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Question: My us sister filed for me about 10 years ago and the Immigration has approved my case, but I was told that will have to go to Jamaica to pick my green card up eventually when the immigration visa is ready. I’ve been here in the us for the past 15 years since and my I-94 expired soon after I arrived. My question is: Can I pick my green card up in America and will I be able to obtain a work permit here while waiting? thank you!
Answer: Unfortunately, under current law, unless your sister filed the I-130 Family Petition for you on or before April 30th of 2001 (245i eligible), you cannot obtain your Green Card in the U.S. since you are not in legal immigration status. Similarly, when the time comes that your Priority Date is current in the F4 immigration category for Siblings of U.S. Citizens, if you leave the U.S., you will be denied your immigrant visa at the Consulate and “barred” from re-entering the U.S. for ten years, since you were in the U.S. out of legal status. Its important to know that I-130 petitions filed by relatives do not provide any immigration or employment benefits for immigrant family members. For now, you and millions of other Immigrant currently in the U.S. without legal immigration status will need to wait for the Congress to act on Immigration Reform. I hope that was helpful to you. It’s a long shot, but the major hope is that the Democrats will win over both Houses of Congress in the upcoming Midterm elections and reach some deal with Trump on immigration reform.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
Immigration How To:
How Do I Get Information On My Case Without Hiring A Lawyer?
Be sure to update your Social Security Immigration Records once you become a Resident and later a Citizen
Stay Informed - Sign-up For USCIS E-Notification & Email Updates 
On Your Immigration Case

When filing an Immigration case without the assistance of an Immigration attorney, you need to pay very close attention to the status of your case and get updates. Fortunately, the USCIS has some very convenient tools which allows Applicants to get updates on newly filed and pending Immigration cases. Immigrants and Sponsors filing Immigration applications with the USCIS can now sign-up to receive text messages and email E-notifications confirming application receipt by the USCIS, along with the case receipt number(s). 
The USCIS recently released its first Q&A relating to the proposed new rule, “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” allowing officials to deny residency to immigrants and visas to non-immigrants who have used certain “public benefits” including food stamps, Medicaid, and Section 8 housing vouchers and more in the past 3 years. 
USCIS Releases First Q & A On Proposed Public Charge Policy
When an immigrant obtains Residency or U.S. Citizenship, the Social Security Administration needs to change its records to reflect the new status. There are government benefits that both Residents and Citizens are entitled to, which other immigrants are not. To change your records, go to your nearest Social Security card and take your current card, U.S. Residency card, Driver’s License (if applicable) or valid Passport. The Officer will change your records in the system to reflect your new status and order a new Social Security card which does not have any restrictions. To learn more about changing your Social Security records, click on the link below:

Social Security Records Change
Florida Governor’s Race – Where Do The Candidates
 Stand On Immigration Issues?
The Governor’s race in Florida is heating up, as both candidates enthusiastically campaign through the sunshine state taking their message to Florida voters. With the Mid-term elections only weeks away, a national spotlight is shining on Florida’s Governor’s race, pitting Democratic liberal (Bernie Sanders loving) Andrew Gillum, against Republican hardliner (Trump loving) Ron Desantis. 

As a state with one of the nation’s largest immigrant populations, Florida remains at the forefront of the fight over immigrant’s rights vs. immigration enforcement. 
Obamacare Enrollment Begins November 1st - See If You Still Qualify!
With the constant threats against immigrants and daily fear mongering perpetrated by the Trump Administration, many immigrants are confused about their eligibility for government programs, including the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). 

This was further exacerbated by the recent release of the “Public Charge” draft proposal which contains many troubling provisions, including those which will penalize immigrants who receive certain public benefits. However, one government program which is noticeably missing from the final list of prohibited programs under the proposed rule is medical insurance subsidies through Obamacare. 
For those who have not used prohibited benefits in the past, and would otherwise qualify for a green card or visa status, the measure goes even further, encouraging officials to consider whether they believe the immigrant would be likely to use public benefits “at any time in the future”. 

According to the draft rule, this determination will be made by considering many factors, including the individual’s age, health, family status, the individual’s amount of assets, resources, financial status, education and skills.

USCIS Public Charge Q&A 
​Public Charge and Immigrant Credit Scores 
Trump Moves Swiftly To Restrict Residency For Immigrants Using Public Aid
The harsh reality is that as a result of Trump’s aggressive enforcement “zero tolerance” policies, millions of immigrant Floridians live in daily fear of harsh enforcement measures being used against them, including workplace, Greyhound bus, Amtrak and other random raids undertaken by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. 

Florida is also the home of millions of Dreamers, children brought to the U.S. at a young age, who lack immigration status through no fault of their own. Many of these children have no memory of the foreign country they were born in and often don’t find out that they are not Americans until they are required to provide official documents, only to learn the sad truth about their immigration predicament from their parents. Trump cancelled the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for Dreamers abruptly last year and since that time, only those who previously held that status under the Obama program have been eligible to file renewals. Millions of other young, innocent Dreamers who were not eligible to apply for DACA status before Trump cancelled it languish in anonymity and uncertainty, without a Florida ID, Driver’s License, Work permit or Social Security card.

As a Republican held state (Republican Governor Scott and majority Republican held Legislature) Florida is one of the few large immigrant states which adheres to Real ID and prohibits immigrants in the state without legal immigration status from obtaining a Driver’s Licenses or Florida ID. 

Both candidates have received criticism for their seemingly extreme immigration views. Desantis has been widely criticized for his unapologetic enthusiastic support for “Trump” and his “zero tolerance” policy, including his political ad portraying his young children as building a “Wall” with their toys, to make America great again. Gillum has also been criticized for his comments about “abolishing ICE,” in its current form “to be replaced with a more compassionate and focused agency that actually keeps us safer.” With so much at stake for the future of Florida’s vulnerable immigrant population, it’s important to have a clear picture of how each candidate stands on major immigration issues. 

Ron Desantis (Republican):

Supports Trump’s strict immigration enforcement measures “Zero-Tolerance”, favors expedited deportation of “illegal immigrants” and is a big proponent of building the Wall.
Opposes DACA status and opposes providing a “Pathway to citizenship” for Dreamers
Opposes comprehensive immigration reform, often called “Amnesty” to allow immigrants to obtain legal immigration status
Supports Real ID and is against allowing immigrants without legal status to obtain a Driver’s Licenses or Florida IDs. 
Supports E-Verify to require all businesses in Florida to check the immigration status of employees prior to hiring

Andrew Gillum (Democrat):

Opposes strict immigration enforcement measures, favors compassion over enforcement and opposes Real ID, E-Verify and opposes wasting tax payer funds on building a Wall, when funds could be utilized more effectively with high tech border security options.
Supports DACA and favors providing a “Pathway to citizenship” for Dreamers
Supports comprehensive immigration reform, often called “Amnesty” which will allow immigrants to obtain legal immigration status
Supports allowing immigrants without legal status to obtain a Driver’s Licenses and Florida IDs. 

Desantis commercial helping his children build a toy wall to keep immigrants out
Andrew Gillum
Ron Desantis
Orlando Sentinel
Regardless of what the Trump Administration wants you to believe, Obamacare survives and open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace starts in several weeks on November 1, 2018. Since the start of the administration, Trump and Republican leaders have been trying to repeal the law, and since they have been unable to do so, they have doing everything possible to keep immigrants and the public from applying, including reducing the window to apply from three months, down to only six weeks, from November 1 – December 15, 2018 and cutting funds for advertising the program and assisting individuals in enrolling.

With so much confusion about Obamacare and who still qualifies, many Immigrants fear losing immigration status or eligibility for Residency (a Green Card) should they apply. So here’s a quick run-down of the most common classes of Immigrants who currently qualify for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare):

Lawful permanent and temporary Residents (LPR/Green Card holder)
Cuban/Haitian entrants
Those Paroled into the U.S.
Conditional entrants granted before 1980
Battered spouses, children, or parents (VAWA)
Victims of trafficking and his or her spouse, child, sibling, or parent
Those Granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal
Individuals with non-immigrant status (including worker visas, student visas)
Those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Those with Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
Those with Deferred Action Status (EXCEPT: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) isn’t an eligible immigration status for applying for health coverage)
Applicants for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Adjustments for Residency status with an approved visa petition
Victims of trafficking visa
Those with Withholding of Deportation/Removal 

You can review the full list of qualifying immigration categories and learn more about applying for Obamacare:
Click here to see the eligibility list 

Question: : I am looking at the form 130 to file for my son and I have a question about petitioning a green card holder's children over age of 21, it says they can file a petition for unmarried children over 21. Does this mean that the person has to be single at the time of the application or the person must be single throughout the whole process? Regards  
Answer: That is a very critical question and the answer is one that many immigrants simply do not know. The law requires that the adult children of U.S. Residents sponsored in the F2B immigration category remain single. If a child marries after the I-130 petition is filed but before a U.S. Resident parent becomes a U.S. Citizen, the I-130 is automatically cancelled, even if the adult child later divorces. The reason is that immigration regulations do not have a Family category for married children of U.S. Residents, only single ones. I hope this is helpful to you.
Question: My wife has been a resident for almost two years now and we will be filing our application to make her green card permanent through your office. I have a few questions 1) You recently said it may take up to 18 months or more for the immigration to approve her case, so we are wondering if she will be issued another temporary green card during this process until she gets her final permanent one and 2) can we take a trip to the U.K. to visit my family while we are waiting and will she be allowed to get back in the country if her actual Green Card is expired? thanks.
Answer: I understand your concerns. Once the petition is filed, the USCIS issues a formal receipt in about 10 - 14 days called an “I-797 Notice of Action” for the I-751, which will extend your wife’s Green Card, Work & Travel authorization for 18 months, do to extremely long USCIS processing times for these applications. This receipt takes the place of her actual Green Card while her removal of condition petition is processing. She will use this original receipt to travel. So when you go abroad, the I-751 Receipt is in fact her Green Card for the purposes of entering the U.S.. Once we file your petition and receive the extension receipt, we will make an Infopass Appointment for your wife at your local USCIS office so that they can put a residency extension stamp in her passport which is easier to use for travel. See you soon
The receipt number allows individuals to track the status of their case online. E-notifications are issued within 24 hours after the USCIS receives the application. To request e-notification, download and complete form G-1145 and mail along with all Immigration applications.  

Once you receive your case number, go to the USCIS website and sign up for Email Status updates on your case through the USCIS My Case Status program. Once you register and enter your case number(s), the USICS will automatically email you notifications and updates on any actions take on your case so that you are better informed about your case status. For instance, once your Immigration application is filed, the USCIS may issue you a letter requesting more evidence in order to continue processing the case. If you are registered to receive case status updates, you will receive an email notification that the USCIS has issued the request, which helps you to be aware that you should be receiving the request by mail soon. If you have not received the request, you can then make further inquiries. Similarly, once you respond to the USCIS request, you will receive an updated email notification that they have received your documentation. It’s a great way to stay informed and keep up to date on the status of your case as it is being processed.